Skip to main content

Richie Sambora on his role in Bon Jovi: "That was part of my deal, to shut the f***k up"

Bon Jovi
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Richie Sambora recently joined his friend Nile Rodgers for an interview on the latter's Deep Hidden Meaning radio show for Apple Music. And in talking about the huge Bon Jovi songs he was involved in during his tenure with them, he had a few things to get off his chest about the band. 

"A lot of people don't know, your fans know, but you're singing on everything," notes Nile about Sambora's often overlooked role in the band he was part of until 2013. "It's strange because when a band has a front guy," continues Rodgers, "and the band has the front guy's name, you think that all the singing is the front guy…"

"And all the writing," finishes Sambora. "That was part of my deal, to shut the fuck up. If I had a coffee place, the sign would say, 'Have a hot steaming cup of shut the __ up'. That would be my coffee place. And do you know what? I did and it worked out. Because that's what [Jon Bon Jovi] needed, for whatever reason, and I was working with him and if he needed that kind of thing…"

Sambora's absence from the band is still frustrating for many fans. His 2013 exit was initially explained as 'personal reasons' before Jon Bon Jovi confirmed the following year that, "He's quit. He's gone. No hard feelings."

The guitarist and former bassist Alec John Such were reunited with Bon Jovi for the band's 2018 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame indusction performance, playing their hits You Give Love a Bad Name, It's My Life, When We Were Us and Livin' On A Prayer.

Rob Laing

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before that I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar.